Things I Know to be True: theatrical conventions of the period

Things I Know to be True: theatrical conventions of the period

Theatrical Conventions in “Things I Know to Be True”

Setting and Staging

  • “Things I Know to Be True” is set in the contemporary period, meaning that it uses modern theatrical conventions, including naturalism and realism.

  • The play makes significant use of staging. A central backyard set is used to showcase the passage of seasons and time. This emphasizes the themes of home and family.

Narrative Techniques

  • The method of direct address is commonly employed, where characters speak directly to the audience to share their internal thoughts or narrate events. This fosters a deeper connection between characters and the audience.

  • The writer, Andrew Bovell, uses dramatic irony in the script, where the audience knows information that the characters do not, creating tension.

Use of Physical Theatre and Visuals

  • There is a heavy emphasis on physical theatre techniques throughout the play. Characters communicate their thoughts, emotions, and their relationships with other characters through physical movement.

  • Lighting is used to highlight key moments in the narrative and to indicate changes in time and place.

Audio Techniques

  • Music is used strategically in the production to underscore dramatic moments, create atmosphere and signal shifts in time.

Dialogue and Themes

  • Bovell uses the vernacular language of the period and location to create a realistic commentary on Australian middle-class family life.

  • Important themes woven into the play include love, identity, personal growth, family dynamics, and the inexorable passage of time.

  • The play blends tragedy and comedy, a technique often seen in modern dramas to lighten heavy emotional scenes and to emphasize the reality of everyday life. Understanding these themes will aid in interpreting the main intentions and messages of the play.